May 17, 2011

Making a home with books

To say I'm a bibliophile is something of an understatement. My devotion to books is no secret--I've extolled the virtues of reading many a time here on this blog--so it’s no surprise that I look to books to help make my living space more cozy and homey.

When it comes to organizing a bookshelf, it’s important to keep in mind its purpose. For a more stylized look, you can try organizing books by color (spines of pink, red, orange, for example) or flipping the books around so that the pages face the room,
which creates a more uniform effect. If you’re a serious reader like I am and are constantly reaching for books, a more functional approach would be to simply organize by author or topic. Personally, I like to group my books into genres (or by publisher if it’s a niche house) for easy retrieval and reference. For example, I've grouped my Jane Austens together, and then further organized by publisher (I might, ahem, have more than one copy of Pride and Prejudice...don’t judge me).

Books by UK publisher Persephone (which reprints forgotten classics by 20th century women writers) are tidily stacked in front of a row of books by or about author Virginia Woolf. It's also important to keep some space on the shelves for future acquisitions (something I grapple with, but am getting better at doing). Purging shelves of books you don't see yourself re-reading or that no longer speak to you removes the clutter, both physical and mental.

Incorporating beloved knickknacks—especially if they are of a bookish nature—adds a bit of personal flair (see first picture above). No other creature is so synonymous with books and learning quite like the owl. In this photo, a bespectacled owl perches comfortably with a book.

Extending beyond the bookshelf, these postcards by Penguin feature vintage 20th century book covers, and when framed, make a charming visual display.

These night-themed book covers below are particularly appropriate for a bedroom and certainly play a part in conjuring a restful night's sleep.

1 comment:

Miss Bibliophile said...

Your shelves look great! Framing a trio of Penguin postcards is such a nice idea. I just got my first two Persephone books and can't wait to delve into them. I can already tell that they're going to become a new collection for me.